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Simultaneous Determination of Acetochlor and Propisochlor Residues in Corn and Soil by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection


A sensitive and simple method for simultaneous analysis of acetochlor and propisochlor in corn and soil has been developed. Two herbicides were extracted from soil and corn matrices with methanol/water and acetone, respectively, followed by solid phase extraction (SPE) to remove co extractives, prior to analysis by gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). Primary secondary amine (PSA) SPE cartridges (500 mg, 3 mL) were used for sample preparation. The analytes from corn and soil matrices were eluted with 5 mL petroleum ether-acetic ether (95/5, v/v) and 3 mL petroleum ether-acetic ether (95/5, v/v), respectively. The recoveries of two pesticides ranged from 73.8% to 115.5% with relative standard deviations (RSD) less than 11.1% and sensitivity of 0.01 mg/kg, in agreement with directives for method validation in residue analysis. The method was successfully applied to determine the fate of acetochlor and propisochlor in real corn and soil samples. For acetochlor and propisochlor, the half-life times (t1/2) in soil was 5.541 and 6.074 days, respectively. No acetochlor and propisochlor residues (<0.01 mg/kg) were detected in corn at harvest time withholding period of 2.5 months after treatments of the pesticides. Direct confirmation of the analytes in samples was achieved by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS).

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Correspondence to J.-Y. Hu.

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Hu, JY., Zhen, ZH. & Deng, ZB. Simultaneous Determination of Acetochlor and Propisochlor Residues in Corn and Soil by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 86, 95–100 (2011).

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  • Pesticide residue
  • Acetochlor
  • Propisochlor
  • Solid-phase extraction
  • GC-ECD